INDIAN EDITORIALS ON BREXIT

James kottoor

For the last few months BREXIT has become the accepted short form of a discussion that  was analyzing the pros and cons. In this age of globalization and international cooperation will anyone go in for a “go it alone policy?”. – Dr. James Kottoor

Indian editorials on Brexit!

 dr. james kottoor

    101655063_david-cameron-news-large_trans++ebBoPjfNj7t-es1bOVq-3VEoDthHVTLKs9qlIt78Isk               Brexit or brotherhood,  Leave or stay,  Globalization or Localisation?  is the tallest question that faced the most civilized of nations in the west, yesterday 24th which turned out  to be a Black Friday for the global community. We the small people of the CCV (Catholic Citizens’ Voice) think, what is needed is neither, but “both and”, globalization and localisation, open borders for qualified  immigrants and humanitarian treatment of the last, least and lost of our brothers, not shooting out or shutting out anyone. How to do this is to be cooly worked out.

                   So as soon as the unexpected shattering news was announced yesterday, commenting on the editorial “Isolationist Catastrophe” in Los Angels Times, we wrote the  editorial given first below. What follows it are today’s editorials in Hindustan Times, the New Indian Expresss, Times of India, and The Hindu, all of which should help our readers  to take a balanced view of the “Catastrophe” that has befallen Briton, Europe and the whole world.

                   Only happenings like this will shake up and wake us up to think out of  box and come up with drastic solutions to staggering modern day volcanic eruptions  like ISIS, religious bigotry, fundamentalism, terrorism, caste, class, colour and race mania running wild – all  leading to divisions, hatred and  possibly to another world war and not to the much needed unity and peace in the whole world. Instead, let all strive to help truth, justice, love, peace and  fellow feeling prevail! 

 

      Isolationist Catastrophy is Exit

CCV Editorial Note,  June 24/16

       For the last few months BREXIT has become the accepted short form of a discussion that  was analyzing the pros and cons. In this age of globalization and international cooperation will anyone go in for a “go it alone policy?”.

                        No one practically did think so, including the editorial writers of prominent dailies. Belying all such public predictions  Briton, which once boasted, the sun never sets on its colonial empire, just voted by a 52-48% margin to walk out of the 28-member European Union(EU).

                      After the dismantling of the  Colonial empire Briton used to be taunted by calling it “The Little England” even though it used to be the business hub  after US and the third  powerful country in EU after Germany and France. With the present exist from EU what is going to be the fate of Little England: a  black spot on the world map? The article in the L.A.Times, terms it as “Isolation” in the comity of nations.

                        Is it not equivalent to saying: “If you don’t hang together, you will be left to hang alone, separately?” During the campaign before the voting US President Obama had already warned that a Britton out of the EU may have to stand in the “Queue” like any other country to clinch deals with the US.

                       Today the buzzword is GLOCAL which is the short form for Global and Local. What is urgently needed today is to reach out to the entire world without  losing one’s own identity and individuality, that is, to be GLOCAL.  

 

Brexit: From Great

Britain to Little England?


Editorial Hindustan Times, June 25, 2016

 Britan stock exchange 24June 2016

Stock brokers in front of screen outside the Bombay Stock Exchange which displays Brexit shocker in Mumbai on June 24, 2016. (PTI)

Superlatives such as ‘seismic’, ‘terrible’ and ‘Britain’s independence day’ have been used to describe the referendum vote to leave the European Union (EU). It has come as a shock and disappointment to many, including in the world of finance and business.

But to anyone following the insular impulses of the David Cameron government since 2010, it cannot be seen as anything but a logical conclusion. The ‘Leave’ option was always there on the binary ballot paper. The reaction betrays how many had taken for granted that the referendum would merely rubber-stamp the ‘Remain’ vote. The outcome takes Britain into uncharted territory where, despite the many promises of a land of milk and honey outside the EU made during the long campaign, no one quite knows how a post-Brexit Britain will look like. Besides the uncertainty at the national level — will pro-EU Scotland leave Britain in another referendum? Will there be an international border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and between Scotland and England? — there is also serious doubt about the future of the European Union project itself. The political-economic union is not exactly loved in member-states such as Greece and Portugal facing harsh Brussels-directed economic curbs, while there is already talk of holding ‘UK-style referendum’ in some EU countries.

Read | Life without Britain: European Union will struggle to survive

There are two big-picture imponderables of the referendum outcome: Given the context of Britain’s long outward-facing history, empire and internationalism, what role does Britain see for itself in future; and the outcome’s implications in the globalised world of finance and industry. London’s pre-eminent position as the capital of global finance is under challenge, as well as the many knock-on effects on 45% of its exports to the EU. When Britain extricates itself after a two-year process, it will no longer benefit from tariff-free movement of goods and capital, with all its adverse effects on its economy. The many claims of Brexit benefits made by the ‘Leave’ camp will be put to severe test.

Read | How the UK could remain in the EU despite a vote to leave

From New Delhi’s point of view, India will lose a close ally in the EU. Over 800 companies use their base in Britain to access the European market; there are already indications that some of them may relocate to other European capitals. The ‘Leave’ camp claimed that Britain outside the EU would provide a ‘massive boost’ to relations with India, mainly in the area of trade and business. The Brexiteers have also held out the promise to put in place a fairer and better visa system for people in India and the Commonwealth. That is all in the future, but for the moment, Britain has turned its back on John Donne’s famous 16th century conception that ‘No man is an island’, and for many, far from putting the Great back into Britain, the referendum has turned it into ‘Little England’ in this age of globalisation.

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Big challenges ahead for

The UK,  European Union

The New Indian Express,  25th June 2016 04:00 AM

 

          Over and out     The British stunned the world on Friday morning, finally deciding to sever their ties with the European Union (EU), after about four decades of Euroscepticism. This, despite warnings galore issued by everyone from US President Barack Obama to the IMF, economists and even their own government. Prime Minister David Cameron, who staked his career on the Brexit referendum, was left with no option but to step down as his countrymen preferred to venture into the unknown. The unexpected outcome spooked financial markets, though central banks and regulators across the globe were on stand-by to contain volatility. As major indices traded in the red, billions of shareholders’ wealth was wiped off, currencies and oil prices plunged, while gold shot up. For UK, the first taste of the Brexit fallout came with the pound plummeting to a 30-year low.

Experts are divided on whether Brexit will diminish the appeal of London, the global financial hub, but it can safely be said that the UK’s decision is a double-edged sword — Britain, the second-largest economy after Germany in the EU and the third-largest in terms of population, is a permanent UN Security Council member and a nuclear power. As such, its exit would have not only an economic but also political impact on the EU, which has been struggling to cope with the sovereign debt crisis of some of its members, a massive immigration problem and last but not the least, deteriorating ties with an aggressive Russia. It’s understandable that the Germans are none too pleased. But however shocking Brexit may be, it was waiting to happen. The simmering anti-EU sentiment over a range of issues — a direct consequence of diktats from Brussels over immigration, fiscal austerity, treatment of terror suspects among others — reached a breaking point in the Brexit referendum. If rising nationalism and the rise of the far-right is anything to go by, at least 10 more European countries might just take the cue from the UK. The German-imposed austerity measures have already fuelled separatist tendencies particularly in fragile economies like Greece and Italy. Whatever Germany and other EU members may say, Brexit surely marks a deadly blow to the very idea of the EU.

It was three years ago that David Cameron first promised the referendum, which gained pace as the immigration issue snowballed. Now that the first step to quit has been taken, the next logical move is to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which sets a two-year timeframe to agree on the terms of divorce with the remaining 27 EU member-countries. The future for the British is, however, not as simple. Many knotty issues have to be settled with the EU and trade deals re-negotiated. The uncertainty stems from the fact that the UK happens to be the first country heading for a complete exit from the EU, which was formed in 1957. One option is to do what the rest of the world like the US, China or India does to conduct business under WTO rules. But for Britain, it could be a big dent as EU is its largest export market and global firms operating out of the UK would want clarity on whether they will still be able to sell to the bloc without changing trade tariffs. In the absence of clarity, negotiations could take years and while a deal is being worked out, its economy could suffer leading to unemployment. There are over 800 Indian firms operating in the UK and uncertainty looms large over business continuity. Indian markets too aren’t completely immune and face the risk of market turmoil, but the Modi government was quick to step in, citing enough “firepower” to deal with the situation. Indian officials also said trade agreements with Britain will be reworked to sustain trade. In the short-term, priority must be to restore calm among the financial markets.

Britain has an immense challenge to prove that Brexit works, as the futu re of the UK depends on it. Scotland, which voted to be with the EU, wants a referendum on breaking away from the UK. Add to this, the possibility of the EU adopting a punitive policy towards the UK to prevent would-be quitters from emulating it. As with any revolutions, managing the aftermath is the biggest challenge.

 

Brexit – divorce can be ugly:

A dramatic referendum leaves the UK

divided and the EU project in jeopardy

June 25, 2016, 2:00 AM IST  TOI
Editorial, Times of India, June 25/16

 

The UK’s impending exit from the EU is the world’s most significant event since the collapse of communism in the continent. The difference this time is that it signals a shift towards insularity, which may not only lead to the UK’s unravelling but also jeopardise seven decades of European integration.

The ‘leave’ verdict of Thursday’s UK referendum about whether to remain in the EU has triggered jubilation among far right parties across Europe, all of whom want their countries to go it alone. Prime Minister David Cameron’s election promise of a referendum will likely go down as a historic blunder, which harmed his country and also had an adverse effect on the world order. Ironically, Cameron who campaigned against Brexit, was its first victim – he will be standing down as prime minister.

Political uncertainty looms large and it will have a negative impact on the fragile global economy. India will not remain unaffected. Even if our economic fundamentals are relatively robust, uncertainty will be transmitted through financial markets. The Brexit outcome pulled down the Sensex by over 600 points and rocked the currency market. Moreover, uncertainty tends to lead to postponement of investments. For Indian companies, the UK has been the springboard to Europe. Brexit will mean a dislocation for many of them. India must buckle down and pursue its domestic reform agenda as this is the best antidote to uncertainty.

The referendum was close, with 52% voting to leave EU. Anti-immigration sentiment played a key role. It appears to have become a way to display frustration with the economy, blaming immigrants for everything from stagnant wage levels to limited job opportunities. This sentiment has already begun to show up in the form of protectionism in trade policies. This is unfortunate, particularly for emerging markets such as India, as globalisation over the last 15 years narrowed inequality between countries.

The bunker mentality which marked the bitter Brexit campaign has spread across the Atlantic. In the US, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump champions protectionism and walls to keep out immigrants. This is counterproductive and will hurt everyone. The motivation behind the European integration project, which was supported by Winston Churchill, was not just to prevent wars but to also avoid a repeat of the beggar-thy-neighbour economic policies between wars.

Cameron’s campaign was joined by former prime ministers Tony Blair (Labour) and John Major (Conservative). They argued that unilateralism is ill-starred. Unfortunately for them today it is UKIP leader Nigel Farage who spearheaded the ‘leave’ campaign who is celebrating, “We have got our country back.” He should however note that two of the UK’s constituents, Scotland and Northern Ireland, have voted to stay on in the EU.

One of the oldest countries in the world may not survive this referendum. At the least, it is important that politicians supporting the ‘leave’ EU campaign steer the conversation towards a sensible immigration policy. Both the UK and global economy need skilled immigrant labour to keep their engines running smoothly.

 

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Stepping into the unknown

Editorial in The Hindu, June 25, 2016

The scale of unknowable consequences that the United Kingdom has brought upon itself — and the rest of the world — with the vote in Thursday’s referendum to leave the European Union was best gauged by the relative sobriety with which one of the “Leave” camp’s most voluble campaigners reacted. Boris Johnson, considered to be a leading claimant to Tory leadership, welcomed the result by saying that nothing would change right away. But in the coming days, London will have to manage the panic in the financial markets, the anxiety in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the question of the international ramifications of the British isles moving away from the continent. Three years ago when Prime Minister David Cameron promised a referendum on the U.K.’s membership in the EU, it was seen as a quick-fix to deal with the far-right bloc in his Conservative Party.

 Right to the end, few expected that Britons would actually decide to leave the EU. That the vote has come as a surprise shows the distance between London and the rest, as well as the geographical divide in the U.K. The chaos emanating from the vote also holds a lesson for democracies elsewhere. It underlines both the recklessness of populist politics — and a referendum is nothing more than an evasive measure in a Westminster-style democracy — as well as the groundswell of support anti-establishment campaigns can today call upon.

Why did Britons choose the unknown future despite stark warnings from their own government, world leaders and economists that a Brexit would be extremely risky? Euroscepticism has been a strong sentiment among Britons. But over the past few years, nationalist sentiment has grown stronger in the U.K. A number of factors may have contributed to this shift. One is the public anger in Britain towards the status quo. Ordinary Britons, hit hard by the economic crisis, feel betrayed by their political leadership. The Conservative government’s austerity policies have further alienated these sections.

What happens nowThe main opposition Labour Party, organisationally divided and ideologically distraught, has been too weak to tap this resentment. It’s the far-right, ultra-nationalist sections that stepped into this space and gave free play to fear-mongering on immigration. The exact implications of the Brexit vote are hard to predict. But the resignation of Prime Minister Cameron, the jubilation of the anti-immigrant ultra-nationalists and the tumbling of the pound to a 30-year low offer a taste of what’s to come. The vote puts in doubt the unity of the country as Scotland has overwhelmingly voted Remain. Brexit also poses a challenge to the European project itself. June 23 is a day Britain, Europe and the international community may well struggle to understand for some time to come.

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